Press Release: ArtsMemphis Announces 2017 Emmett O'Ryan Award Winner

For immediate release

MEMPHIS, TN (April 6, 2017) – Carl E. Moore, a local visual artist, best known for his vivid, high-contrast paintings, is the recipient of the seventh annual Emmett O’Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration.  This award is presented by ArtsMemphis and generously sponsored by Metropolitan Bank, in partnership with Butler Snow.  It is given each year to a local artist whose work demonstrates creative and civic leadership within the Memphis arts community.

As the “Emmett” winner, Moore receives a $10,000 cash award.  ArtsMemphis President and CEO Elizabeth Rouse noted that “Carl was selected based on his decades of making outstanding work, along with his service to the Memphis community, ranging from his volunteer work at Caritas Village to his work as an adjunct instructor at the University of Memphis.”  Moore is widely recognized for helping to strengthen the local artist community and for mentoring emerging artists.  He has curated over 80 shows and his work has been displayed at numerous venues including the L. Ross Gallery, the Dixon Gallery, and Crosstown Arts.

Moore’s subjects are often shown in moments of peril or distress, sometimes in urban environments, and he frequently uses a bold graphic style, with thick, arresting lines that call to mind commercial illustration.  “I’m very honored to be a nominee and recipient of the Emmett Award,” Moore said.  “This award means a great deal to the art community, as a whole, because it lets artists know that they are being recognized in a city so rich with talent.  Art should be for everyone, accessible to everyone, and without limitations.”

The Emmett Award is named in honor of Emmett O’Ryan, an avid art collector who was a founding board member of Metropolitan Bank.  The winning artist is selected by a committee composed of Metropolitan Bank associates, members of ArtsMemphis’ Artist Advisory Committee, and representatives of Mr. O’Ryan’s family. 

“Emmett O’Ryan was a much-beloved and respected member of the Metropolitan Bank family,” said Phillip May, president, Tennessee Division of Metropolitan Bank. “This award is a wonderful way to honor Mr. O’Ryan’s memory and his contributions to the bank and to the arts while supporting the work of an outstanding artist in our community.  “We are also excited to have Butler Snow join us as a partner in the event,” May noted, “as this program has grown over the past seven years to become one of the most significant awards for local visual artists in Memphis.”

The other two finalists for this year’s Emmett Award were:

  • Maritza Davila is a Puerto Rican-born printmaker who teaches at Memphis College of Art.  She is head of the printmaking/book arts/papermaking area and is chair of the Fine Arts program.  Ms. Davila has won numerous awards, and her pieces have been exhibited all over the world, including shows in New York, Puerto Rico, Germany, France, and Norway.  Her artwork is featured in several major collections, both nationally and internationally.
  • Jennifer Sargent is an award-winning fiber artist whose work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been published in a number of periodicals. She is represented in both private and public collections including the Tennessee State Museum, Wichita Center for the Arts, Christian Brothers University and the City Collection of Memphis.  Ms. Sargent has organized and curated many exhibitions, and she is an Associate Professor and former Director of Exhibitions & Lectures at Memphis College of Art.

About Metropolitan Bank:

Metropolitan, the banking subsidiary of Metropolitan BancGroup, Inc., is a billion dollar financial institution. After its successful acquisition of Bancsouth Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, Bank of the South, in 2008 and its acquisition of a Tennessee state bank charter, Metropolitan currently operates eight full-service banking offices in Mississippi and Tennessee. Metropolitan offers a full range of financial products and services, including personal and business transaction accounts, online and mobile banking and bill payment, mortgages, home equity lines of credit, construction, commercial and consumer financing, treasury management, Xpress deposit, remote deposit capture and merchant card services. For more information, visit

About Butler Snow
Butler Snow is a law firm with offices in 22 different locations throughout the country, along with offices in London and Singapore.  Butler Snow has been a leader in client service for over 60 years.  Attorneys and professionals at Butler Snow pride themselves on innovation, teamwork, value, service, focus and responsiveness.  This approach allow Butler Snow to provide its clients with an elevated level of legal services.  For more information, visit

About ArtsMemphis:
For more than 50 years, ArtsMemphis has been sustaining Memphis's world-renowned cultural vitality.  ArtsMemphis achieves this mission by amplifying awareness, driving support, and building capacity and connections of artists and organizations through grants and services.  In 2016, ArtsMemphis awarded nearly $3 million in grants to 68 different organizations and 20 individual artists.  For more information, visit

For inquiries or additional information, please contact William Murray, Director of Development and Communications for ArtsMemphis, at 901-341-0401 or [email protected]
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